Problems and like, Whatever… The AA Attitude Problem

Four years ago I found some blogs online reporting criticism about AA.  Inspired by the years of comments I’ve read from these blogs, plus comments I myself have gotten at The Fix, I decided to do a satire about a fictional AA member.

This “blogger” embodies all that is wrong with AA:  Lack of knowledge about current information, research or other recovery methods about addiction and alcoholism.  A strong loyalty to the AA fellowship that results in bullying (angry retorts, name calling, and threats) if someone disagrees or criticizes AA.  And, resistance to any talk of changing, improving, or otherwise making AA better if AA wanted to be.

Links’ sources are mainly from the blogs I’ve followed throughout the years:  NA Daytona, Leaving AA, The Orange Papers, and more.  Without further ado, let me introduce you to my fictional friend:
—–

Hi, my name is Tearesa Alcoholic.

The first three letters of my name are “T-e-a,” because I thought that sounded cute when I was 19 and high on ecstasy, so I got it legally changed.  This is my first blog, so I’ll try to keep it short, just like my leads.

I love, love, love the program and like, it’s perfect the way it is.  “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  I’m an atheist, but I love the idea of God.  Especially a God that’s like my Dad or my Grandpa, and He watches over my sobriety and keeps me spiritually fit.  But if I drink, it’s totally my fault because I didn’t pray the right way.

I don't have daddy issues, I don't even believe in God.

I don’t have daddy issues, I don’t even believe in God.

I have God-consciousness now, I didn’t have that out there when I drank 12 packs of Bud Light and smoked pot.  I know what God thinks, but I’m not God.  But God will do anything for me, if I ask, even though I’m an atheist, because I “fake it til I make it.”

But I can make direct contact with God and sometimes God speaks to me through other AA members.  It’s like He hi-jacks your brains and takes over what you’re saying just to send me a message.  The other day, God told me to buy a scratch off lottery ticket and I won five dollars!  I knew I should do that because Becka T. at Monday nights said she goes to AA meetings in casinos in Vegas, and sometimes she gambles just to feel a buzz or a high.  (It’s ok, she’s not a gambling addict.)

I always recommend AA to others with drinking problems, if they’re open minded enough to want help from AA.  I don’t think AA is for everyone, if it’s some other meeting I wish them luck.  I don’t really know much about SMART or SOS or anything like that, I mean, they’re not AA so… I don’t want to listen to anti-AA talk about Bill Wilson doing LSD or lies in the Big Book about the wives didn’t write “To Wives,” I mean, I don’t want other people planting doubt in my head about if AA works.  ‘Cause it works for me.

I have a friend, Lulu, she’s stopped going to meetings, to do her homework and finish up school.  I wish she’d just bring her homework to a meeting.  I mean, she used to be able to drink and do homework, but that didn’t work because she was drinking even though she passed her classes.  She dropped out one semester to go to meetings and I told her she shouldn’t go back to school for at least a year, because no big changes in your first year.

Anyway, Lulu’s totally white-knuckling it, and I refuse to go to her graduation because who knows, she might serve alcohol at the celebration at this point, she’s not good AA.

I mean, I know a lot of people who are clean and sober, and don’t go to meetings, and they look happy.  They probably weren’t really alcoholics though.  I heard people say maybe people who stop meetings get real crazy frustrated when they quit meetings because they’re withdrawing from their addiction to meetings.  They should de-program.  Whatever, those people think they know everything.  They hate AA.

Ok, the program isn’t perfect. There’s this meeting where NA members are breaking the rules by smoking in a non-smoking park.  Just don’t smoke there, ok?  There’s no excuse to justify your smoking.

NBC’s Law & Order SVU did an episode on 13th stepping and I was all like, whatever, this is an anti-AA scare tactic.  All I hear about these days are child molesters and rapists and murderers in AA and NA, and I’m like, what’s your proof?  If you get 13th Stepped, it’s because you’re not going to women’s meetings, and you’re not reading the Big Book.

Rape happens anywhere, like at parties, nightclubs and dark alleys.  Not just when people are drinking, but at libraries, movie theaters, and grocery stories.  I mean, you have to protect yourself, stop waiting for others to do that for you, because AA has only one primary purpose, and it’s not protecting everyone from rapes and violence.

Go to a real meeting, and see some real sobriety, people just like me who’ve had a tough time in life, but we don’t go crying and acting like babies with this stupid paranoia that someone in AA might rape us.  Get a life!   If you want to live a happy life of peace and serenity, come to AA, because without it you’ll die the way you lived- selfish and self-centered.

Sorry, but AA doesn’t tell the courts what to do, so if you don’t like court ordered AA meetings tell it to the courts.  I’m too busy doing AA service work, like going to the courts to testify for my sponsees.

th (4)One of my sponsees relapsed, but that’s because she wasn’t working a good program.  It only works if you work it.  And I saw this guy in the courthouse who just failed a drug test, because he was going to SMART or SOS or whatever.  So my sponsor and I just laughed at him, because he didn’t have what we had.

I am so, so happy I was able to talk about AA and sobriety with all of you today, because in here, I’m safe, but out there, I know my disease is doing pushups in the parking lot.

Ciao!

—–
Well, enough of that.  I hope you heard something familiar in the, like, way Tearesa presented the comebacks and subtle/snide comments *some* AA members make.  It is almost as though learning the steps and attending meetings creates this kind of thinking.  I’d love to hear more in your comments below, and please click the links.  See you next time.

Juliet *Roxspin* Abram
(find me on facebook.)

Quick Reference:

Having God-conciousness.   164 & More

God will do anything for me. The Orange Papers

AA Meetings on the Vegas Strip.  (Meeting Makers Make It.) S.I. Meetings

Bill Wilson wrote “To Wives.” aabacktobasics.org

Season 15, Episode 9, Law & Order SVU “Rapists Anonymous.”  Leaving AA

AA man rapes and impregnates 14 year old.  NA Daytona

NA man brutally rapes and kidnaps woman.  NA Daytona

A personal letter from the mother of a daughter murdered by a man in AA. Stop13StepinAA blog

The 13th Step Film. the13thstepfilm.com

AA man admits he rapes woman but ‘didn’t do anything wrong.’ NA Daytona

Raped, beaten, and assaulted by man she met in AA.  NA Daytona

AA member strangles wife after being mandated to AA for domestic violence.  NA Daytona

Woman gets hate mail from AA members that she pressed charges against an AA man’s 9th step where he made amends for raping her.  NA Daytona

“AA must continue to live or most of us will surely die.”- Big Book Appendix 1, The A.A. Tradition p. 563  164 & More

 

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9 thoughts on “Problems and like, Whatever… The AA Attitude Problem

    • I heard! So happy for you! I am slowing down to keep topics fresh & interesting. Got the pre-quel to the piece I plan to write for/with you. I’ll send it via e-mail and hopefully get it timed right for finishing the movie/ getting it out there. Will try 🙂

      Thanks so much for your support & kindness!

  1. Hi Juliet,

    I also just read your interview with Bucky Sinister on The Fix. Thanks so much for your important questions.

    But as always, we at AAAgnostica.org always feel the pangs of unrequited love in that many people of diverse opinions but yet critical of certain elements of AA as we at AAAgnostica are, don’t know of our existence but we know of (and love many) of you.

    This week’s post, for instance, featured an article on SMART recovery – we believe there are many paths to recovery and all are cause for celebration.

    But apart from this, thanks again for your concerns and insights. –John

    • I am actually on the aaagnostica e-mail list— and I am always glad to see articles and information outside of the “AA bubble,” on there. I do hope— since I do have previous AA membership and service work— that those still involved hear the issues and are actively working towards solving them. Mainly— updating the literature! There should be more information in the Big Book on the “disease,” as a concept vs. a behavior— The steps would “work” regardless of whatever it is called. It won’t change that problem drinking is a problem, in other words.

      I hope there’s more hard hitting pieces from a diverse set of voices who want (or demand) AA to modernize. Bucky was (and is) a great guy and I am honored he agreed to answer some questions. I hope to stay in contact with all the fine folks I am meeting along this path. Thank you so much, John.

  2. And thanks for your response, Juliet. As you probably know the first international WAFT Conference (We Agnostics and Free Thinkers) is being held in Santa Monica, CA, November 6 – 8, 2014. –John

    • Thanks John. I didn’t know about the conference. What I disagree with about the agnostics/ atheists approach to working around the AA materials is the simple fact they are working around materials that remain in place, and by promoting the AA name the matter remains— AA is religious. These growing secular movements within AA have not changed what AA offers in terms of “conference” approved literature. I wish all the best, however, I do hope that in time the free thinkers will separate from the AA brand name.

      Instead of “take the good and leave the rest,” why not take the good and start over with something that will not confuse the general, uninformed public. Those seeking AA without religion are not going to find it on aa.org for example. I admire that people are willing to take the AA format and change it for what works better for their values and beliefs, but AA remains a religion. I have difficulty understanding the desire to stay in AA with this obvious division in beliefs.

      • Dear Juliet,

        Thank you for your kind wishes and honest thoughts.

        I am discovering that more and more folks in AA who have 10, 20. 30, 40 plus years of sobriety have stayed with AA even though they had never given up their agnostic, atheist, or free thinking commitments. Many of us, regardless of the number of years of our sobriety in AA, have remained true to Jim Burwell’s legacy as an early pioneer in AA who was openly and forcefully atheistic. Burwell outlived Bill Wilson and was responsible for starting many new AA meetings in various cities like Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore and San Diego. Jim’s story can be found here:http://aaagnostica.org/2012/04/07/jim-burwell/

        In whatever manner many of us in AA manage to demythologize, demystify, or deconstruct the religiosity of much of the AA program, we have been able to adhere to those elements in AA which are supportive and transformative for anyone, regardless of one’s belief or lack of belief.

        Who knows what AA might morph into one day but it surely will not change one iota unless there are those of us inside AA willing to stand up and be counted as persons who got and stayed sober without any belief in a conventionally religious higher power.

        I too wish you, Juliet, all the best in your endeavours, and who knows we might meet some day during a recovery month gathering where folks from all kinds of organizations meet and celebrate together under the umbrella of people in long term recovery

        Kind regards, John

      • I don’t know much about the recovery month gatherings, although that sounds like something I should inform my area about, especially the AoD boards. Thanks John, take care.

  3. It saddens me how badly AA has squandered their legacy. Just reading the preamble makes you realize that, after the desire for alcoholics to help each other, there is absolutely no specific content ot belief that should be required of members. Nothing! But what has happened? When allowed to be anything they wanted to be, they decided to restrictive, close-minded, and insulatory. What a sad comment on human nature. Do you know why the caged bird reall sings?: because it prefers the certainty of the cage to the uncertainty of flight. When given the freedom to fly, AA clipped it own wings.

    AA will continue to decay as long as long as they depend on the bad science, bad theology, bad psychology, and just bad advice given in the 12 & 12 and the Big Book. Hopefully, AA Agnostica represents the future of the Program.

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